Posted 2 февраля 2023,, 07:31

Published 2 февраля 2023,, 07:31

Modified 2 февраля 2023,, 08:28

Updated 2 февраля 2023,, 08:28

The head of "AgriVolga" declared the dependence of sour cream production on imports

The head of "AgriVolga" declared the dependence of sour cream production on imports

2 февраля 2023, 07:31
The founder of the agricultural holding "AgriVolga" Sergey Bachin said about the vulnerability of the dairy industry from sanctions. According to him, if the supply of starter cultures from Europe is limited, Russians may be left without sour cream.
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"Consumers probably don't even fully understand that if Europe suddenly imposes sanctions on dairy ferments, then we won't have sour cream in Russia. We will not be able to produce it, because the dependence here is total. I think this is a strategic—level problem", - Bachin said in an interview with RBC.

The interlocutor of the agency noted that there were no critical events in the dairy industry due to sanctions pressure, and the difficulties with packaging and equipment that arose in the spring were solved due to alternatives from friendly countries. RBC also cites the report of the head of the Ministry of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev, who announced an increase in milk production by 0.9% in physical terms at the end of the year.

During the interview, Bachin explained his concern about the lack of sufficient production of bio—starter cultures in the country - microbiological compositions necessary for fermentation and production of fermented dairy products and cheese making.

"Now 90% of our market is imported starter cultures. We simply do not have biofactories for their production. There is an experimental biofactory in Uglich and small laboratories that are trying to do something. But they cover no more than 10%, and actually even less of the total volume of starter cultures that are required," he believes.

In his opinion, the production of dairy starter cultures in Russia "failed" in the late 1980s - early 1990s. At this time, concentrated ferments of the so-called direct action began to be used in the world. In the USSR, each dairy and cheese-making plant had its own laboratory producing medium-concentration starter culture. In this case, more time and actions were required for the production of products, and the process itself was more complex. New plants in the Russian Federation were built according to Western standards without their own laboratories for the production of starter cultures.

"All these plants, even if they want to, will not be able to switch to the form of production that was 30 years ago. It is necessary to create laboratories again, to train people — it is not a matter of one day, it will take several years," added Bachin.

The entrepreneur noted that AgriVolga plans to open a biofactory in Uglich in two years, and its first stage will provide 25% of the market needs for starter cultures, the second stage will increase the indicator "somewhere to the level of 50%".

AgriVolga Holding is the largest Russian producer of meat and dairy organic food products. According to the organization, it accounts for up to 40% of the organic products market in the Russian Federation.